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How to Get Yourself to Do Things

https://www.raptitude.com/2015/03/how-to-get-yourself-to-do-things/

raptitude.com

How to Get Yourself to Do Things
I have a special sympathy for sufferers of a particular human problem, and I get more emails about it than just about any other topic. There are normal people, who get overwhelmed on those occasions when they have more obligations to fulfill than time in which to fulfill them.

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Treat tasks individually

Treat tasks individually

What seems like a tangled cloud of open-ended old to-dos is actually a series of independent happenings, which are best treated individually.

Once you’re treating each obligation as separate from the whole bundle of “stuff to-do”, you can see that they each have a very predictable life cycle and it brings in the realm of the concrete.

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The end of anxiety

The end of anxiety

The moment you start acting on something, you are at the beginning of the end of the anxiety associated with that thing.

Many procrastinators are pessimists and overestimate the difficulty of the task they are avoiding. They think doing it is the hard part. But not doing it is much harder.

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Avoiding action

Avoiding action
The moment you start avoiding action again, due to fear or aversion, you are re-entering a nonproductive phase. 

Physical action ceases, and pointless overthinking begins.

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Anxiety associated with obligations

Anxiety associated with obligations

It comes from a misapprehension of what it will actually be like to do the work. 

This anxiety is made of abstract, big-picture emotional concerns, about reputation, legacy, anxiety for the future, self-esteem, comparisons to others — worries about who you are, rather than what you’re doing.

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Finishing a task

Finishing a task
You finish a thing by starting it until it’s done.

Finishing is only a matter of starting from where you are, as many times as you have to until it’s done. 

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2 kinds of people

  • Those who believe they can make things happen. They are convinced that the outcome of their lives and careers is more or less in their own hands
  • Those who believe things...

When hard times strike

Those that feel they are in control over their lives also feel stress and anxiety, but they use this anxiety differently: their anxiety fuels passion instead of pity, drive in lieu of despair, and tenacity over trepidation.

Expect and prepare for change

Set aside some time regularly to create a list of important changes that you think could possibly happen. The purpose of this task is to open your mind to change and sharpen your ability to spot and respond to changes. 

Even if the events on your lists never happen, the practice of anticipating and preparing for change will give you a greater sense of command over your future.

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Write A Stop-Doing List

Remind yourself of items that don’t bring you joy, and contribute very little to your long-term goals.

This way, you’re unlikely to spend a lot of time doing time-sucking, non-rewardin...

Schedule Procrastination Breaks

During this allotted break, give yourself permission to do time-wasting activities (social media scrolling included) until you got bored and want to move on to your next task. 

Divide Your Day Into Themes

And if your job isn’t ideal for focusing on one thing per day, you can dedicate your morning to one focus area, your early afternoon to another, and late afternoon to another.

This way, instead of being overly restrictive about finishing a task in that time period, you have the flexibility to do any work that moves you forward in that particular focus area.

Reward yourself

Make sure to treat yourself to something you really enjoy, after you finish working on your tasks.

Giving yourself something to look forward to will motivate you to start working. And most ti...

Break down tasks

Big tasks tend to overwhelm and demotivate us. As a result, we often don’t bother getting starting on something we want to do.

So instead of having a number of large tasks to do or one big task, just set one small task for now. This will make your work seem more manageable.

A mental warm up

It can be difficult to go from waking up in the morning to getting yourself working right away. So give yourself a mental warm up exercise beforehand.

For example, try reading an interesting book that gets your brain going, write down your ideas or do some crossword/Sudoku puzzles.